How to Check Coolant Levels

Coolant Car Check


As Hudson car owners, we all know how important it is to keep our vehicles in good condition. Regular maintenance ensures that our cars are running efficiently and helps to prevent any potential damage that could lead to costly repairs. One essential maintenance task that we cannot overlook is understanding how to check the coolant level in your car. Is your coolant level low? Have you ever asked the question, “What is coolant?” In this article, we will guide you through the steps of how to check coolant levels in your car, explaining the whys and hows of this specific form of maintenance. 

What Is Coolant & Why Is It Important? 

So, what is coolant exactly? In vehicles with internal combustion engines, energy is created by burning fuel. Part of this energy is harvested to propel your vehicle into motion, and the rest is converted into heat. Some of this heat escapes the vehicle through the exhaust pipe. However, the remaining heat stays in your car’s engine block. Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is stored in a reservoir attached to your car’s radiator. The water pump circulates the coolant throughout the engine, and the radiator pulls the heat from the coolant as it circulates through the system. This is why it’s so important to keep a constant check on when your coolant level is low. If you’re not sure how to check the coolant level, and your vehicle runs out, the engine can overheat and cause irreparable damage. 

Use the following steps to learn how to check coolant levels in your car or truck: 

  1. Before you check if the coolant level is low, you’ll need a pair of safety gloves, a flashlight, and a coolant reservoir cap wrench if it’s required on your vehicle. However, most models have caps that are opened by simple hand-turning. 
  2. Turn off the engine and wait for it to cool down completely.
  3. Open the hood and locate the coolant reservoir. It should be a white or translucent plastic container with a marked “high” and “low” level, usually near the radiator hose.
  4. Check the coolant level against the marks. If it is below the “low” mark, you need to add more coolant.
  5. If you need to add coolant, remove the radiator or the coolant reservoir cap and fill the container with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water until it reaches the “high” mark.
  6. Start your engine and let it run for a few minutes to allow the coolant to circulate.
  7. Check the coolant level again and fill it up as needed. Make sure not to overfill the coolant, as it can cause damage to the radiator or engine.

How to Check Coolant Levels If Your Vehicle Has No Reservoir

If your car does not have a coolant reservoir, you can check the coolant level by opening the radiator cap. However, be aware that opening a hot radiator cap can be dangerous and cause severe burns. It is always recommended to consult your car manual before checking your coolant levels to understand the recommended temperature and verify the procedures to avoid injuries or accidents. If the coolant level is low, pour the antifreeze/water mix directly into the radiator using a funnel.

Service at Ford Spring Hill

Despite how easy checking your engine coolant is, sometimes we all need the help of a professional. If you’ve noticed your car running low at quicker rate than usual or is overheating or leaking fluid, the service team at Ford Spring Hill can help. Use our simple scheduling portal to make an appointment right away, and we’ll get your car back to running smoothly. For questions regarding service and parts, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team. 

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